What should I include in my advance directive?
January 4, 2020
It does not matter if you are young and healthy or approaching the end of your life. Every Michigan resident should have an advance directive to address their medical wishes in the event they are unable to make their own decisions. An advance directive can give you peace of mind knowing that your doctor and loved ones will understand your medical care wishes if you become incapacitated.
According to the University of Michigan, an advance directive is a document that lets your loved ones and medical staff know your treatment wishes if you are placed on life support or temporarily unable to convey instructions. You can name someone you trust as your health care proxy to make health care decisions on your behalf. This is called a medical power of attorney. Your living will would outline your wishes during end-of-life care. For example, you can state your terms regarding life support, how long and how often to resuscitate you in a medical emergency and whether to give you food, fluids and medication intravenously if you are permanently incapacitated.
You need not worry about an advance directive going into effect if you are in an accident but still coherent and able to make your own decisions. This document is only effective if doctors and family members cannot communicate with you. You can also revoke or change it whenever you wish; however, it is important to give your health care proxy and doctors a properly signed and witnessed, updated copy of the form. This information is meant to educate you, but it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.